Dennis Beverly
Dennis Beverly
Public Eye
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AG News Archives for 2017-06

County Master Gardners Host Statewide Training

Hardin County Master Gardener Volunteers Darla Crownhart and Judy Magee identify disease, insect, and other problems on specimens as part of the statewide Plant Diagnostic Clinic held in Kenton.


32 Master Gardener Volunteers from 8 counties came to Kenton on Friday, June 23 for a statewide Plant Diagnostic Clinic.  This training was conducted by OSU Extension and hosted by the Hardin County Master Gardener Volunteers.  OSU Extension horticulture and entomology specialists Pam Bennett, Nancy Taylor, and Curtis Young provided instruction in the morning about disease, insect, and environmental factors with conifers such as spruce, pine, and fir trees.  After lunch, the attendees split up into small groups and examined over 30 specimens with hand lenses and other information provided to them in the morning session.


Upon completion of the specimen examinations, the horticulture experts then used a projection system to show close-up images of each plant problem while discussing symptoms and management steps.  Knowledge gained from this clinic will help the Master Gardener Volunteers diagnose plant problems that the public brings to the county OSU Extension offices.  It will also serve as continuing education for building upon their knowledge for providing horticulture education programs in their counties.  To request Master Gardener assistance in Hardin County, a resident can email Kim Thomas, president at kethomas1953@windstream.net or Dave McPheron, volunteer coordinator at plantman12@windstream.net in addition to contacting the OSU Extension office at 419-674-2297 for assistance with a lawn and garden issue.  Residents may also post photos with questions on the Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardeners Facebook page.


Wheat Harvest Tips

The wheat crop is drying down very fast and harvest is starting in some parts of the state.  As harvest continues over the next few weeks, growers should keep their eyes on the weather and the moisture content of the grain to ensure good quality wheat.  Wheat grain is about 30 percent moisture when it reaches physiological maturity and can be harvested efficiently and easily when the grain moisture is between 14 and 20 percent.  Harvesting above 20 percent grain moisture increases kernel damage, and reduces storability, test weight, and germination percentage.


Delaying harvest past the time that grain reaches 14 percent moisture reduces yield about one-fourth bushel per acre per day, increases cutterbar loss, and decreases test weight each time the grain is wetted by rain or very heavy dew.  Exposure of the grain to rain after maturity may lead to sprouting and mold development.  Also, the risk of loss by bird and rodent feeding increases as does the potential loss due to fire, hail, high wind, and other weather factors.  Yield, test weight, germination percent, grain quality, and harvest efficiency are greatest when the grain moisture is between 14 and 20 percent moisture at harvest.  Within that range wheat grain moisture decreases about one percentage point per day with normal weather conditions.


Wheat harvest date impacts both grain yield and quality.  Delaying wheat harvest puts the crop at risk for increased disease, lodging, sprouting, and harvest loss.  Last year in Clark County, OSU evaluated wheat harvested on June 29 (at 12% moisture content) and July 8 (at 14% moisture content).  Grain moisture increased between June 29 and July 8 due to 0.58” rain between the two dates.


When wheat harvest was delayed until July 8, yield decreased by 9 bu/acre, test weight decreased by 2.9 pound per bushel, and vomitoxin level increased by 0.86 parts per million.  Using a grain price of $4.50 per bushel and discounts from a local elevator, the difference the delayed wheat harvest resulted in a loss of $87 per acre compared to the June 29 harvest.  With funding from the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program, the University is continuing this research.  However, this new work will be comparing grain yield and quality of wheat harvested at ~20% moisture to ~13% moisture.

Plan to complete harvest before the grain moisture drops below 14 percent and before it starts raining. Assuming that ideal harvest conditions last for six days enables one to estimate the moisture level at which harvest must start.  If the crop can be harvested in two days, harvest can be delayed until the grain reaches 16 percent moisture.  For a crop that will require six or more days to harvest, threshing should start when the grain reaches 20 percent moisture.


Check combine thoroughly for worn or broken parts that should be replaced and then lubricate according to the operators’ manual.  Adjust cylinder speed, concave clearance, fan speed, and screens for wheat.  Service the motor and remove any combustible material from the motor compartment to make the machine field ready so harvest can start on time and at the proper grain moisture content.


The height of the wheat plant varies across most fields and the grain table will need to be very low because some of the plants are very short.  The secondary tillers are always shorter than the main tiller, so it is prudent to check their height and be sure they are collected in to the grain table.


Article written by Laura Lindsey, Pierce Paul, Jim Beuerlein, and Dennis Mills - OSU Extension Small Grains Specialists, and revised by Mark Badertscher, OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator-Hardin County.



Kentucky Bluegrass Turf Tips

Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis) is one of the most popular cool-season grasses with excellent color, texture, and density.  The biggest advantage of this grass is its underground stems, referred to as rhizomes.  They are aggressive and spread quickly, repairing damaged areas in your lawn without reseeding.  The grass will return after a fire, even though it looks dead on the surface but underground buds are still alive and the grass will grow again.  The plant can stand months of drought and will go dormant.  It will come back, however that requires some supplemental watering.  If that water is not available, you might choose another grass species.  


Kentucky Bluegrass cannot tolerate deep shade or wet soils, and is slow to germinate, taking a period of 2-5 weeks.  Newer cultivars are available that can crowd out weeds and show increased resistance to disease.  Bluegrass is used for home lawns, parks, schoolyards, golf courses, cemeteries, and athletic fields.  The common pests of this type of grass include leaf spot, dollar spot, grubs, rust, sod webworms, chinch bugs, and bluegrass billbugs.  There are more than 100 cultivars of bluegrass so consult your Extension office or a local nursery for the best one for your growing conditions and area.



Average County Rainfall at 7.21 Inches for May

For the time period of May 1-May 31, 2017 Extension rainfall reporters recorded an average of 7.21 inches of rain in Hardin County.  Last year, the average rainfall for the same time period was 3.27 inches.  Rainfall for May was 3.45 inches more than the ten year average rainfall during the same dates.

Jackson Township received 8.90 inches of rain for May, the most of the township sites.  For the growing season since April 15, the average precipitation in the townships was 10.37 inches, with a wide range from 8.05 inches in Hale Township reported by Travis Ramsey, to 12.79 inches in Jackson Township reported by Rick Weber.  

Rainfall persisted most of the month of May, with the exception of about a week without rain in the middle of the month.  Cooler temperatures prevailed most of the month as early planted corn was slow to emerge.  Several fields had ponding events and were saturated for long periods of time, causing a need for replanting.  Both corn and soybeans were replanted multiple times in some fields, causing stands that are either thin or growing in different stages.  Later planted crops were showing more uniform emergence, although some are weeks behind the earliest planted fields.

Herbicide programs needed to be adapted in several fields to meet the advanced stage of weed development as a result of the earlier extended time period of wet conditions that favored weed growth.  Currently, soybean planting is reaching completion as farmers are hoping for warm growing degree days with timely rains to promote crop development.  Most forage growers have completed or are in the process of making the first cutting of hay, which is later than normal.  This has caused hay tonnage to increase, but lowered the feed quality.  Wheat has been less susceptible to disease as a result of the cool conditions at flowering.  Adequate moisture has benefited grain fill, but now drier conditions will be needed to keep good grain quality as harvest approaches.


Hardin County Extension Rainfall Report for May 1-May 31, 2017 (recorded in inches)



May 2017

Growing Season (from Apr. 15-2017)

Blanchard Township

Crop Production Services



Buck Township

Heritage Coop./Kenton



Cessna Township

Steve Lowery



Dudley Township

Dale Rapp



Goshen Township

Brien Bros. Farm



Hale Township

Travis Ramsey



Jackson Township

Rick Weber



Liberty Township

Phil Epley



Lynn Township

Jan Layman



Marion Township

Mark Lowery



McDonald Township

Jerry Stout



Pleasant Township

Robert McBride



Roundhead Township

Mike Lautenschlager



Taylor Creek Township

Silver Creek Supply



Washington Township

Randy Preston









ODA To Begin Treating For Gypsy Moths

The Ohio Department of Agriculture will begin aerial treatments designed to disrupt gypsy moth mating on 8,380 acres in Allen, Hancock, Hardin, Marion, Paulding, Union and Wyandot counties.


To help protect Ohio’s diverse habitat, the Ohio Department of Agriculture operates multiple programs aimed at managing the gypsy moth in Ohio. One such program, the Slow-the-Spread program, focuses on monitoring, detecting, and reducing isolated populations to slow the gypsy moth’s movement across the state through treatments.


Airplanes will fly 100-200 feet above the treetops and buildings to apply the treatment throughout the day. Weather permitting, treatments will begin the week of June 19th and occur over one or two days.    


In all counties receiving treatment, the department will use a single application of the product SPLAT GM-O. This product does not kill the moth, but it disrupts the mating process by confusing the male as it searches for a female mate. SPLAT GM-O is an organic product and is not harmful to birds, plants, pets or humans.



Logan County Farm Bureau Receives OFBF Funds for Conservation

For the third year in a row, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation is funding county Farm Bureau-led projects that help improve water quality in local communities.


This round of funding will put total investment by Ohio Farm Bureau and partner organizations at more than $1 million in county water quality projects.


In our region, the Logan County Farm Bureau received funding for water testing from subsurface tile and from surface waterways. Also planned is a presentation by two national experts on soil health and cover crops.



Dairy Beef Feeder Queen Applicants Sought

The Dairy Beef Feeder queen contest is open to all girls 14 years and older (as of January 1), that are currently enrolled in 4-H or FFA with a dairy beef (feeder or steer) project.  To be eligible to compete for this honor, a member must fill out the application, complete the essay and participate in an interview.  Applicants will also be given a test over breeds, body parts, and general questions that pertain to the project.

The winner will represent the dairy beef feeder youth and also be recognized at the crowning of the Hardin County Fair King and Queen Ceremony in front of the grandstand on Tuesday night at the fair.  It is also the Dairy Beef Feeder Queen’s responsibility to attend the Dairy Beef Feeder show and assist with passing out awards on Thursday morning at the fair and be at the sale on Saturday at the fair to appear in pictures with the Grand and Reserve Champion winners.  The Dairy Beef Feeder Queen also has the option to participate in summer parades. 

A link to the application is available online at hardin.osu.edu.  If members have questions, they should contact Jolene Buchenroth at 419-673-9805. The Dairy Beef Feeder Queen application and essay deadline is June 21, 2017 and must be postmarked by this date.  Once the applications are in, applicants will be notified of the interview date.  The test will be given at the same time as the interview.  If a member needs a printed application, they should contact Jolene Buchenroth, 11740 Township Road 180, Kenton, Ohio 43326 or call the phone number above.


Is the Hay Making Window Closed?

Hats off to those who got their first cutting made during the nice weather earlier, but some of us missed it!  There has been rain in the forecast about every three days and very wet soils from the heavy rains this past weekend across much of Ohio.  While we are eager to get that first cutting made, haste will make waste if we drive on hay stands before the soils are firm enough to support the equipment.

When we run hay equipment on soft soils, the wheel compaction damage to plant crowns will be like a plague for the remaining life of the stand.  It will lead to lower forage yield, weed invasion, and frustrating attempts to “fill-in” the damaged stand, and ultimately a premature termination of the stand.

The crop is indeed maturing and losing quality.  Our grasses are heading out and leaf diseases will begin to take their toll.  Livestock need to be fed.  While we do need to cut as soon as we can, getting on the soils before they are firm enough will only lead to bigger problems in the long run.  This is particularly true for legumes.

Now that the soils are starting to firm up, start harvesting grass stands first where possible.  Not only will they be hurt less than legumes when soils are softer, their quality is dropping quickly.  But be reasonable about this, because grasses will also be damaged permanently if the soil is too soft.

Keep in mind that while the waiting for better weather is frustrating now, wheel traffic damage turns into an ongoing frustration that is never overcome by the damaged stand.  The additional loss in forage quality while waiting for soils to dry is the lesser of two evils.


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